What does happiness look like to me? My mind immediately goes to a thousand different things. Happiness is watching my husband teach our youngest daughter to play billiards. Happiness is seeing her smiling face looking up at her Daddy, because he is the best and brightest shining star in her young life, and she knows that he loves her and will always keep her safe and protect her. Happiness is simply watching my husband, when he doesn’t know I’m looking. He is the most handsome man on the earth, in my eyes. Happiness is watching my children as they discover all the wondrous joys of this world. Happiness is snuggling in the evening, after a long day of work and school. Happiness is having my whole family together and being blissfully aware that, despite my frequent attempts to screw it up through my own human, misguided choices, God is always in control and has a plan for me and for my family, and indeed for the whole of humanity.
Happiness is being content in my circumstances, whatever they may be. Happiness is realizing that true joy comes from having an identity in Christ that transcends anything that might be in this world.
Though I have suffered hardships and loss, happiness comes from realizing that this earthly life is fleeting. And even while it is so, God cares for us so much … each and every one of us … individually … that He chooses to give us bright blessings and beautiful things to love and enjoy. And if He cares for us this much, in our fallen state and on this fallen planet, how much more will we have when all is restored?
So many people have so many worries in this earthly life, and it breaks my heart. I wish I could tell each and every one of them, personally, that this isn’t all there is. This isn’t how we were meant to be. There is a God who loves us and who has given the ultimate sacrifice to redeem us and restore us … we have but to choose Him.
Happiness is not striving for more. Happiness is wanting to do more, but being content with all that I have. Happiness is gratitude.